Trinity drops to No. 3 in the nation after two losses in three games to Dallas and Concordia


Photo by Nayali Perez.

The third-ranked Trinity Tiger baseball team lost for the second time in three games, and fell to 21-3 on the season after the games that took place between Saturday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 25.

The Tigers opened their weekend by splitting a doubleheader against the University of Dallas on Saturday, which ended their winning streak.

“The streak was nice, but it was more a reflection of us just playing good baseball than anything more. I don’t think our players paid too much attention to it, and I know that we as coaches didn’t,” said assistant baseball coach Zach Fregosi.

The Tigers opened the day with an 8-2 seven-inning win, scoring seven of the eight runs in the first three innings of action.  The Tiger pitching staff allowed just three hits in the game to preserve the win.

Junior pitcher Zack Speer improved his record to 5-0 on the season, allowing one run on just two hits, and recording three strikeouts.

Sophomore first baseman Drew Butler went 2-4 with a run and two RBI in the opening game, while Bianchi picked up three hits and drove in two runs. He knocked in both runs by homering in his second consecutive game.

Sophomore infielder Carter McEachern went 4-6 with two runs scored in game two, while Connor Moore was 2-5 with two runs and two RBI.

“Our coaches know what we need to do in order to be prepared for each game and they run practice in a manner that makes us game ready,” Moore said.

The second game of the day went extra innings as Dallas rallied from a five-run deficit to pull off a 9-8 upset win in 10 innings.  The Crusaders hit a pair of home runs to account for a five-run fifth inning, tying the score after the Tigers seemed to be in control.  Four of the Dallas runs were unearned following a two-out error by the home team.

Trinity then hammered three hits in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three runs to take the 8-5 lead.  Dallas fired back by plating three runs in the top of the ninth to extend the game.

In the 10th, Dallas scored without getting a hit, stealing home to take the 9-8 lead.  Dallas drew a leadoff walk, and then advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball.

In the bottom of the inning, senior catcher Chris Bianchi led off with a single into left-center to set up the tying run, but senior infielder Christian Muscarello’s two-out line drive was snagged on a running catch by the left fielder to end the game.

The following day, the Tigers defeated the University of Dallas by staging an eighth-inning rally to win 5-4 in an SCAC game.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Crusaders took advantage of three Tiger errors in the second inning to produce three runs and take a 3-2 lead.  Dallas added an insurance run in the seventh to make it 4-2, setting up the Tiger rally.

Trinity began with a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead in half, then pulled in front for the first time since the opening frame with a two-run eighth.  Infielder Trent Rape cracked a run-scoring single to score senior outfielder Pat Hirschberg. Sophomore infielder Connor Moore drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to center.

First-year pitcher Kevin Flores came on in relief in the second inning, pitching a total of 7.1 innings, and giving up one unearned run on four hits.

Hirschberg hit 2-3 at the plate, and stole two bases, while sophomore Jeremy Wolf also went 2-3 in the match-up.  Wolf also drew a walk in the eighth to set up the winning run, which was scored by outfielder Brody Fehmel.

Following the game Tuesday night, Concordia upped its record to 17-2 with the win, after dropping a 5-1 game.

Concordia opened the game with a run in the bottom of the first, followed by a two-run third inning.  The Tornados added single runs in the seventh and eighth to go up 5-0 before the Tigers finally got on the board in their last at-bat. Trinity rattled off 10 hits in the game, but managed just one run in the ninth inning.

Butler went 3-5 in the game, while Hirschberg, Singer and Bianchi had two hits each to account for nine of the team’s 10 hits.

Senior pitcher Kyle Bogese was charged with his first loss of the season, falling to 4-1 on the year.  Bogese allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on just one hit and struck out four, but walked five batters.

“We prepare all week with hours of practice and drills. A lot of people say we “˜live in the Bell Center’ because we are always working to prepare,” Bogese said.

Senior pitchers Carter Lauck, junior outfielder Nick Griffith, and sophomore pitcher Ryan Gray finished off the game, giving up two more runs on five hits.  Lauck also recorded four strikeouts.

Trinity opens a three-game road series at Hendrix College this weekend, beginning with a Friday night game at 6:00 p.m.